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How to block offensive / profane Spanish content

Posted on 2009-06-30
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Last Modified: 2013-12-09
Hi
We use Web Marshal and Mail Marshal to control our internet and email gateways respectively.

We now need to block Spanish offensive language from making its way to our users' inboxes, or blocking websites that contain offensive Spanish words. The problem is twofold:
a) Marshal provide no support in terms of custom text censor scripts that we can import
b) We cannot find any comprehensive csv list of offensive Spanish words that we can import into our Marshal suite, with the confidence that it will not produce false positives

Does someone know of a comprehensive csv list that we can utilize for instance?

Thanks
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Question by:FphcareAdmins
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Expert Comment

by:jhyiesla
ID: 24753243
If Spanish spam is like spam in English a list of offensive words will never work.  Let's say that the word "boob" is offensive.  So you block it. But then there is B**b, b0ob, and on and on. If your current filtering system depends on word lists to do it's job, you have the wrong system. I'm not familiar with the systems you are using so can't comment on them completely.  Over the years we have used such systems as SurfControl for web filtering and now use an appliance from St. Bernard. We also utilize the Postini email filtering system, but I honestly don't know if they deal with Spanish or not.
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Expert Comment

by:Nemskinator
ID: 24759810
many spam applicances offer block filters specifically for languages such as spanish, chineese, russian and several other. it worked for me.
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Expert Comment

by:Nemskinator
ID: 24759833
see attached
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Accepted Solution

by:
Gladinator earned 500 total points
ID: 24766942
You can swear until you are blue in the face but spammers have gone through several generations of spam since we used to block mails simply by specific words.

They can replace vowels with character symbols, and consonants with others (example: number 1 for letter L,  @ sign for letter O or zero).  The human brain can easily translate these into their proper equivalent and then become offended before a computer analysis will do the same.

The systems used by gateway spam products like you are using should already be more sophisticated than a straightforward "bad" word list.  Usually they have training features that administrators can use to educate the software "types of email we don't want to allow through our network".

Gather a large sample of offensive email (if your gateway system isnt already collecting it for analysis, collect someones home email address spam folder contents [in spanish of course]) and forward each mail to a mail admin account within the company, and use the grading/feedback system of the gateway to train it on what shouldn't get through.
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by:jwenting
ID: 24792470
and even if you block all those character substitutions, they'll just send a picture containing the text of the message, embedded in an html email.
Or an email containing a link to a website where the real message is to be found, masquerading in the email as something benign.

I've found that the most effective way to block spam is to figure out what TLDs most comes from and block those entirely.
This means blocking all of sub-Saharan Africa, most of South America (Chile seems clean, as does Peru), and parts of Asia (Indonesia, Burma, Vietnam, China, and a few others).
Blocking eastern Europe also helps.
You can always add whitelists to exclude specific addresses and domain names from the general block as needed.
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Author Comment

by:FphcareAdmins
ID: 25901892
unfortunately we cannot block TLDs as we are a global company and receive emails etc from all over the globe
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Author Closing Comment

by:FphcareAdmins
ID: 31598587
thankyou
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